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World class caviar through deeper understanding of sturgeon

Caviar continues to be a symbol of luxury around the globe. With sustained demand for a quality product, there is growing interest in advanced aquaculture processes to raise sturgeon, a premier source of caviar.

The Center for Aquaculture Technologies Canada (CATC), a PEI company known for their advanced knowledge of fish physiology, health and pest management, sought to capitalize on the sturgeon opportunities.

They partnered with UPEI’s Dr Mark Fast, the Elanco Research Chair in Fish Health, to pursue strategic research into sturgeon. Specifically, they were looking for DNA markers for health and immunity; the key elements to raising a healthy and lucrative broodstock.

With guidance and input by Synapse, CATC and Dr Fast successfully applied for NSERC Engage Funding. This led to a six-month research collaboration with Dr Fast, and the identification of the biomarkers they were pursuing.

Upon a recommendation by Synapse, CATC and Dr Fast decided to pursue another project to validate their biomarkers. This project was funded through the National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program (Contribution to Organizations), administered by Synapse on behalf of UPEI.

With the successful validation of the biomarkers through this final phase of research, CATC is now able to promote their expertise in sturgeon genomics and biomarkers on health and immunity, and expand their ability to serve this growing market.